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Thread: KeyKeg filling with a pump - question!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Utrecht, NL
    Posts
    12

    KeyKeg filling with a pump - question!

    Hi all. Two related questions for using pumps to fill keykegs:

    We had been filling keykegs for years by simply filling upside-down at the pressure used to carbonate the beer, generally between 0.6 and 1 bar at 1 deg C. Never had a problem. Within a few months we had several bags burst during or after filling, or bags that didn't expand out all the way (and then sometimes burst). After a long discussion with the rep (they are pretty close by) we realized that they recommend filling pressure of at least 1.5 bar to ensure proper bag inflation. So now we boost pressure up to fill. If we only need a few kegs for an urgent order, then we have to bleed off pressure at the end. We're now plowing through CO2! Question one- is anyone using a pump to increase pressure of carbonated beer while filling kegs? The rep said this is possible but didn't have any more information on it- what type / size of pump. I don't want to have my beer churning through a centrifucal pump any more than necessary, would rather pay for CO2. Curious if anyone has any experience here.

    Secondly- we sometimes keg condition in keykegs, for barrel aged beer or for IBC fermented beers with critters that aren't allowed in our brewery's clean side. At the moment the easiest option is to gravity-fill; first filling the priming solution and then siphoning beer while allowing in atmospheric pressure CO2 at the top of the tank/barrel. This works ok but (as expected) very often the bag does not properly expand, leading to an underfilled keg. Some people use a diaphragm pump to do this (on compressed air), but I can't seem to find what sort of flow rate pump to look for to generate the required pressure. Does anyone have diaphragm pump experience they want to share??

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    MO.
    Posts
    25
    An air driven diaphragm pump can fill kegs very nicely. You regulate the push of the pump by controlling the air pressure sent to it. The keg gets filled until the back pressure almost equals the air pressure.
    So you let the keg fill until the pump stops, and then vent out the pressure slowly until the keg is filled.
    I had a setup at one brewery where I could fill 4 halves at a time. Worked very well and quickly. Was nice to be able to walk away during the first half of the fill knowing the fill would stop until the venting was started.

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